Lescott motivated by City contract flux

Manchester City centre-back Joleon Lescott says his current contract situation will not affect his mindset when called upon by manager Manuel Pellegrini this season.

The England international is in the last year of his current deal and is keen to remain at the Etihad Stadium, although he has yet to be offered new terms by the club.

City are expected to bring in defensive reinforcements before the transfer window closes on Monday, with a deal for Atletico Madrid's Argentina international Martin Demichelis reported to be close.

But ahead of City's Premier League fixture at home to Hull City on Saturday, 31-year-old Lescott says he will cope with the pressure of fighting to win over Pellegrini and retain his place in the starting line-up.

"Most of my City career I've had pressure being put on; by myself and by speculation that the club is going to buy centre-halves. This year's no different," Lescott said.

"It may be a little bit more due to the fact that it's my last year, but I'm using that as a challenge and an exciting challenge.

"I've expressed that I want to stay and I want to be part of the future, but I understand there's a business side to it and if it's not to be I'll walk away from the club with my head held high and no regrets.

"Nothing would please me more than signing an extension. If that negotiating happens, I'll be there with my pen ready to sign."

City are currently without captain Vincent Kompany, who has been ruled out until at least mid-September with a hamstring injury, and his influence was missed in the 3-2 defeat at Cardiff City last weekend.

It has left Lescott as the club's only recognised senior centre-back, although Serbia international Matija Nastasic has returned to training.

Lescott wants the rest of the squad to show their own leadership qualities against Hull while Belgium international Kompany continues his rehabilitation.

"Vincent is a loss to any team and is a massive player for us," the former Everton player added.

"But it's now down to us as individuals and collectively to show, with all due respect, that he's not needed as much. We all need to take a little bit more responsibility on ourselves and show that for the time he is out."

Former Manchester United trainee Robbie Brady hopes to make life difficult for his former club's local rivals, having made an impressive start to the season with Hull after leaving Old Trafford at the beginning of the year.

The 21-year-old has scored winning goals in back-to-back games, claiming the only goal in last weekend's league win over Norwich City before netting against third-tier Leyton Orient in the League Cup.

Hull team-mate Joe Dudgeon, who was also on United's books as a youngster, has backed Brady to be one of the success stories of the season.

"Robbie's showing people what we've known for a long time. With the ability he's got, he can go as far as he wants," Dudgeon said.

"We've seen it already and this year should be brilliant for him. Like a lot of the young players we've got here, he can showcase his talent in the Premier League."

Manager Steve Bruce, who retains an interest in signing Arsenal's out-of-favour Danish international Nicklas Bendtner, will be without Ivory Coast forward Yannick Sagbo for the trip to the 2012 champions.

The 25-year-old former Evian striker starts a three-game suspension after getting sent off against Norwich for aiming a headbutt at Russell Martin.


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